If you’d like to know what the IUCN SSC Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP) did during 2019, you can now read our recently released Annual Report. Writing an Annual Report is often a good opportunity to pause and reflect on hurdles overcome and achievements made for the previous year. As usual, the year flew by, so this is a chance to share some of the things we’ve been working on.

Reviewing endemism – a full house for amphibians

ASAP focuses on Southeast Asia. It is a region that is incredibly rich in biodiversity but facing extreme pressure from habitat loss and overexploitation. Our remit is Southeast Asian land and freshwater vertebrates that are listed as Critically Endangered, known as ASAP species. Currently, there are 15 amphibians that sit in this camp. We always knew that the region is home to many species found nowhere else in the world, but a piece of work we conducted highlighted just how true this is. It showed us that every single ASAP amphibian is a country-endemic. This increases their vulnerability and makes the efforts of ASAP Partners even more vital.

Planning to build regional conservation capacity

One of the strategic priorities for ASAP is to strengthen the capacity in Southeast Asia to deliver robust, successful conservation work. A key piece of work towards this was doing a gap analysis of the support already available, and to get feedback from our Partners on their needs. The work highlighted areas that conservation organisations felt more support could be given for, including accessible and long-term training in project management and leadership. We’re excited to have secured funding to begin addressing some of these priorities in the coming years.

Growing the Partnership

Much like the Amphibian Survival Alliance, ASAP is an alliance of Partners, all with a shared interest in averting the extinction of ASAP species. In a year when the number of ASAP species unfortunately increased, we were pleased to see the number of Partners grow to almost 100. There is a huge opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking across ASAP, something we will focus on facilitating in 2020.

If you are working on one of the ASAP amphibians (see table below), we’d love to hear from you at [email protected]. To find out more visit www.speciesonthebrink.org, or follow us on Twitter @IUCN_ASAP.

ASAP Amphians

Ansonia guibei (Mesilau Stream Toad) Megophrys damrei
Ansonia vidua (Murud Black Slender Toad) Occidozyga tompotika (Bancet tompotika)
Kalophrynus yongi (Cameron Highland Sticky Frog) Oreolalax sterlingae (Sterling’s Toothed Toad)
Leptobrachella palmata Pelophryne linanitensis
Leptobrachium kantonishikawai Pelophryne murudensis
Leptolalax botsfordi Philautus jacobsoni (Jackson’s bubble-nest Frog)
Leptolalax kecil Platymantis insulatus (Gigante Wrinkled Ground Frog)
Leptophryne cruentata (Bleeding Toad)

Photo © Arief Tajalli